‘Homeless Hero’ walks over 100 miles for mental health campaign

‘Homeless Hero’ walks over 100 miles for mental health campaign

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

‘Homeless Hero’ Tony Long walked from London to Bristol to raise awareness about the impact mental health has on those who are homeless.

The ‘Homeless Heroes’ campaign, which was launched by the Matthew Wright show, supported Tony as he walked over 100 miles.

Beginning on March 28, Tony walked for just under three weeks before arriving in Bristol on April 13.

Since the walk, he has been offered a job as a chef and temporary accommodation.

Tony told Matthew: “From our show in Windsor, I got approached by a man and said that he knew someone who needed a chef.”

Tony will now be working at Bar 163 in Egham, Surrey.

Tony said he was “amazed” by how much support there was at his new job.

“I was amazed about how much support there is. I am a bit of a control freak – I am not scared of flying, I am scared of not flying the plane – so I am going through the kitchen and I am just surprised because everything is set out.

“There is enough support and staff so the onus will not just be on myself.”

He added that the walk had proven that “anyone can do it”.

“I did not do this for me personally; I did this for the cause,” he said.  

“I am 22 stone so if I can walk to Bristol then anyone can do it.”

Tony added that it had helped him overcome his fear of loneliness.

“I am not scared of many things – that is not me being big-headed – I have just always dealt with stuff head on,” he said.

“But since my breakdown, I am petrified of loneliness. I stared that straight in the face.”

At the beginning of April, talkRADIO presenter Kevin O'Sullivan joined Tony on the streets to raise awareness for the campaign. 

After spending a night sleeping on the streets of Windsor, Kevin said he had not considered the “sheer boredom”, but also the "low-level terror" of being homeless. 

“Tony is great company but imagine if he was sat here for hours with nothing to do,” he said.

“You get some idea that one of the problems of homelessness is the sheer tedium of it.”

talkRADIO worked with homelessness charity Emmaus UK to raise money for Tony’s cause. Anyone that wishes to donate can click here.

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